In my daytime job, the main concern of my clientele is that next gainful opportunity. Meaning, they want to be found when talent seekers look for assets of the kind they have to offer. Chances are, unless a specific company or alma mater is a factor, talent seekers run their searches based on keywords: skills; knowledge; abilities; technological competencies; and so on. Now that search is likely to yield tall stacks of results. (Yes, let’s face it: many people have qualifications very similar to yours.) Which begs the question: can you do anything to boost your chances of appearing in the first 20 results or so?
What is keyword density?
Keyword density is the presence of relevant keywords across sections of your profile. The main sections to be concerned about are: headline; summary; job write-ups; and skills. I like to think my own LinkedIn profile is quite adequate in presenting the right assets in the right places, so allow me to use my profile to demonstrate.
Here, capture the essence of your occupation, role, and professional capacity. My headline says: “Career Services Specialist | Workshop Facilitator | Certified Professional Résumé Writer.”
This is the first thing people look for after seeing your name, headline, and photo. (All right, I’ve seen your nametag, now tell me, in a nutshell: who are you professionally?)
From the first paragraph of my summary: “I take a look at [my clients’] career assets to bring out and connect the strong points. My clients’ career narratives are thoroughly revamped and recharged—from the nitty-gritty of cover letters and résumés all the way to new frames of mind ready for 21st-century job search.”
Did you notice the words “career” and “résumé” appeared in both the headline and the summary? (They appear yet again in the second paragraph of the summary, alongside the word “workshop,” which was also present in the headline.)
This is how you build keyword density. You want the right keywords to appear and then appear again, and again. That way, LinkedIn’s search engine will be likely to nudge your profile toward the top of results when someone runs a search for just those keywords.
And on we go. Suffice it to just look at only part of the first bullet of my current job, which reads: “Facilitate workshops on brand building, stand-out résumés, and sustainable career-goal assessment.”
“Workshops”; “résumés”; “career.” Game, set, and match.
Well, does it get any easier to plug in the keywords you want to emphasize? This section invites you to do just that, and solidify their presence across profile sections. Guess what the three words are that appear in the first three skills listed in my profile….
But let’s move on from my profile. How about your skills? Suppose they include:
- Business Development
- Program Management
That’s four keywords: business; development; program; and management. Why not boost the presence of each by adding the following skills:
- Business Management
- Program Development
Did you notice how that just doubled the presence of each keyword—and in the same section at that?
Now check the other sections of your profile—headline, summary, job write-ups—for repeat mentions of these relevant keywords. Keyword density for the right keywords will improve your chances of being found in talent searches that are right for you.
Oh, and if you can get a couple of your LinkedIn connections to write you some recommendations, it won’t hurt to have some relevant keywords repeated across those recommendations as well.